Johannesburg - Five babies have now died from antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni as the hospital shuts down wards and struggles to find the source of the bacteria, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
"I discovered this when I visited the hospital last week to check up on sources who had told me that more babies had died after it was revealed two weeks ago that two out of seven babies infected with Klebsiella had died," DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said.
He welcomed the decision by the Gauteng health department to put the hospital’s CEO on special leave, "as she ignored warnings by staff that overcrowding in the neonatal ward increased the risk of infection". Dr Jatin Ganda had been tasked to oversee operations at the hospital until an acting CEO had been appointed.
"I was informed that Klebsiella infection has been confirmed in 11 babies, five of whom have died. The first baby died on 9 July, another in early August, two babies died on 25 August, and another baby on 28 August. They were all vulnerable low-weight premature infants," Bloom said.
The remaining infected babies had been isolated to prevent further infection and the neonatal and labour wards had been thoroughly scrubbed down. New maternity and neonatal patients had been diverted to other hospitals.
"There is a team from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) which is trying to find the source of the outbreak. It is very distressing that so many babies have died from a preventable hospital-acquired infection. This troubled hospital needs new leadership and the filling of critical staff vacancies so that quality care is provided to all patients," Bloom said.
African News Agency (ANA)